Last month, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released their proposed plan for the Little Snake Resource Area in Northwest Colorado. Little Snake encompasses over a million acres of soaring plateaus, wild and scenic rivers, and sweeping sagebrush basins home to sage grouse, elk, mule deer, and pronghorn.
The rugged Little Snake River -- the region's namesake -- meanders through the BLM resource area. The Yampa River, one of the last free-flowing tributaries of the Colorado River, cuts through the heart of the area as well. BLM deemed three segments of the Yampa as suitable for Wild and Scenic River protections -- WSR designation would protect the Little Yampa Canyon and Cross Mountain Gorge areas for future generations to enjoy, as well as provide important habitat for four endangered Colorado River fish species.
Industry special interests and their counterparts in Moffat County government are trying to overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s plans to protect portions of the Yampa River – one of the nation's last free flowing rivers. Other rivers and watersheds in the area are also threatened by proposed increases in oil and gas development and new water diversions.
Don’t let these special interest groups succeed!
BLM's plan will govern how over two million acres of public lands and the rivers and streams that
cut through them will be managed for the next 15-20 years or more. The plan is a strong move by
BLM for better balance between environmental protection and more consumptive uses like energy and
Unforunately, BLM's plan still leaves parts of the Yampa River vulnerable, and special interests hope to overturn BLM's decision altogether.
American Whitewater and our conservation partners are calling on you to help to acknowledge BLM's progress and request they go even further to ensure long-term protection for our rivers. Tell BLM Director Bob Abbey that paddlers from across the nation appreciate BLM finding segments of the Yampa suitable for Wild and Scenic River protections and that you want those protections to remain in order to conserve some of the West’s most amazing places.
Please edit and send the letter below to:
Mr. Bob Abbey
Director, US Bureau of Land
BLM Washington Office
1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
Washington DC 20240
or e-mail your comments to
Let BLM know that protections for these rivers are important to you!
Dear Director Abbey,
I strongly support the Bureau of Land Management's decision to include important protections for three segments of the Yampa River in the Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Little Snake Resource Area. These segments have been determined to be suitable for inclusion in our nation's Wild and Scenic River System.
BLM should also consider affording the protection of a suitability determination to the two additional waterway segments found eligible: Vermillion Creek and Beaver Creek. These waterways provide amazing opportunities for wildife viewing, recreation and scenic exploration.
I also ask that BLM extend protections to all proposed wilderness areas such as Diamond Breaks, Cross Mountain and Yampa River, as they provide a crucial component to river recreation opportunities and overall landscape health.
I want to thank the BLM for its efforts to protect all of Northwest Colorado's rivers and watersheds from harmful impacts so that future generations might enjoy this wild and wonderful place.
Thank you for your time and attention on this critical issue.
[City, State ZIP]
Help Protect the Yampa River - Colorado
September 30, 2010